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  1. #1
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    Default FIT 5 a waste of money?

    I like the rest of you have heard and read about this product and how good
    it is,But now I have heard 3 stories from 3 deferent FDs about how it didnt
    work for them, I would like hear some feed back about who has used them
    and if it worked or didnt work .I dont work for the company just looking
    for real world info.

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    I dont work for the company just looking
    for real world info.
    Bullshirt!

    Here's what I want to know. What kind of financial arrangement doe the FD's who purchase this gadget have with the manufacturer that every time it is used, it is mentioned in a news story? Do they pay you directly? Do they give you a replacement gizmo? Be honest. What's the deal?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    George, You know who I am and most certainly do not work or sell
    this product, I was only asking about it not working and I heard that
    from 3 FDs in the Morris and Sussex areas,I figured you may have heard the same thing.
    And by the way my dept doesnt use them and do not plan on buying any.
    Last edited by Dashman; 02-14-2009 at 11:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
    George, You know who I am and most certainly do not work or sell
    this product, I was only asking about it not working and I heard that
    from 3 FDs in the Morris and Sussex areas,I figured you may have heard the same thing.
    And by the way my dept doesnt use them and do not plan on buying any.

    The thing is a waste of money. My question still stands. I never saw a newspaper article talking about a Partner saw or an Elkhart nozzle putting out a fire. Both do a far better job than a gizmo.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Some research on these types of devices
    Aerosol Fire Suppression for High Rise Structural Applications

    Overview of recent progress in fire suppression technologyKim (2002)

    OVERVIEW OF RECENT PROGRESS IN FIRE SUPPRESSION TECHNOLOGY Same article but has many reference links.

    From what I see in the latest academic research these devices are our future. Water will be used in very limited quantities in most fires.

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    I know nothing about the fit-5 device other than the articles and postings here and from what I have read, it can be a very useful device under the right conditions. Those are pretty specialized condtions because its essentially a self deploying dry chem extinguisher. It won't replace firefighters nor will it solve every situation.

    You could re-package it with a heat activated link and create an dry chem 'sprinkler' system or something similar. I see this alternitive agent technology getting a lot better developed and seen in more places but the current 'grenade' is a bit pricey for what it does and its limitations imho.

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    Let's see....

    Carbon Tetrachloride was going to replace water. Then it was CO2. Then it was dry chemical. Then it was rapid water. Then it was wet water. Then it was halon. Then it was halon substitute. Then it was compressed air foam. Now it's this gizmo.

    Been there. Done that.

    The simple fact of the matter is that water will never be replaced as a fire suppression agent. No agwnt out there is as inexpensive, is as plentiful, is as easy to apply, is as easy to clean up and is as universally accepted as water.

    And no one tell me that the insurance cos. are behind this thing. They are not.

    No takers for my question, huh? Do you guys swear some secret oath or something to keep the deal quiet or what?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Question Hey George?..............

    This thingamajig hasn't been noticed down here, at least not yet. Is this the 200's version of the 1890s Glass Globe full of Carbon Tet? Just throw it at the Fire.............
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    This thingamajig hasn't been noticed down here, at least not yet. Is this the 200's version of the 1890s Glass Globe full of Carbon Tet? Just throw it at the Fire.............
    Harve, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Disclaimer: WE SELL FIT-5's

    Disclaimer #2: I try to give my honest opinion on products that we both sell and don't sell (check my posts)

    Disclaimer #3: I have been in both the career and volunteer fire service for 13 years

    IFS sells FIT-5's and to be quite honest, I was fairly skeptical. I have always been taught Water+Hose+Nozzle+Animal on the Nozzle=Fire Suppression. I still believe that this is very true.

    Yesterday, we set up a live burn demonstration in South Beloit (IL), which is on the WI/IL Border. We invited in local departments and had around 20-30 in attendance from IL, WI, and MN along with FIT-5 Reps from Chicago, Texas and NJ.

    Our burn was a basement fire and we let temps get upwards of 800+ degrees (based on TIC I was operating from outside the structure and able to observe through a broken window, it was hard to get ceiling temps from outside, so they may or may not have been higher). Members of the South Beloit fire department acted as stokers to get the fire going and commented that the basement was starting to heat up.

    We let the fire progress for around 10-15 minutes and then had the Deputy Chief of South Beloit deploy the unit. The basement was an open room approximately 20' x 30' and the unit landed 15'-20' from the fire. Within 30 seconds, temperatures dropped from 750-800 degrees on the TIC to below 200 degrees. We opened up the windows nearest to the fire (directly above the fire) and virtually all the heat was gone. This was noted by me removing my gloves to feel directly above the fire. We sent a crew to the basement to check conditions that they noted very little heat and tenable conditions.

    I will note, the fire was not completely extinguished, but delivered tremendous knockdown power, which left the advancing hoseline to only mop up approximately 5-10 minutes after deployment and after the basement windows were opened up.

    My conclusion is that this is a valuable tool for the fire service and I believe that the 20-30 people in attendance (2 or 3 that regularly surf Firehouse) yesterday shared the same thoughts. I don't believe that this tool will work for every fire, however, I can see the value in this product for a number of applications for fires that do not already have significant ventilation including:

    Basement Fires, Attic Fires, Single Room and Contents, Dorm Room, Hotel/Motels, Apartment Fires, Limited Manpower Situations, Limited Water Supply, etc............................................... ...................

    I can see these being carried in:

    Chief's Buggies (3-5+ minute arrivals before 1st due engine)
    Ladder Companies (offers more knockdown power than 2.5 gallon can)
    Ambos (we were usually already on the street, so we could beat the first engine and/or chief in by 2-3+ minutes)
    Engine Companies (carried by First Arriving Officer during 360)

    The bottom line is that I am in favor of any product, gizmo, gadget that can PROTECT OUR OWN, Protect Civilians and Protect/Preserve Property. Again, this product is not going to eliminate water or be the end-all, be-all, however, I believe that it is another valuable tool for our toolbox to be used by STREET SMART fire officers and firefighters.

    Feel free to shoot me an e-mail at dinges88@hotmail.com or call our shop to discuss personally.

    Stay safe,

    rfd599
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

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    The simple fact of the matter is that water will never be replaced as a fire suppression agent. No agwnt out there is as inexpensive, is as plentiful, is as easy to apply, is as easy to clean up and is as universally accepted as water.

    And to apply that water, you must make entry into a structure that may or may nor be stable under hostile conditions which requires sufficient manpower, training and resources.

    Or if you are a short-staffed department or a department with limited training, limited experience and/ limited resources, such as water, you knockdown the fire first with this device, then make entry under far less hostile conditions, and mop-up with, water.

    Gives you time to evaluate the structure. Gives you time for mutual aid resources to arrive. Makes the whole situation much safer, if this "gizmo" works.The current information seems to indicate they do, but maybe a little more real-world testing is required. Fewer entries under hostile conditions will mean fewer firefighter deaths, especially in the rural areas, which is where I see this being extremly effective, but only if they can bring the price down so the under-funded rural VFDs can afford them.

    As far as the other itmes you listed George, which you may or may not be implying are or were at one time, "gizmos" - CO2 works quite well for shipboard and confined space applications, dry powder works quite well in home extinguishers or all-purpose extinguishers and on class B fires, and halon worked very well except for the environmental issues. I think it's also pretty well agreed that Class A foam makes water much more effective and there are still departments, including mine, that use the rapid water concept by adding some dishsoap to thier water tanks.

    I have no idea why you seem to have such a hard-on for this product. The data is limited on it but it seems to work if used correctly. Technology is not a bad thing, especially if there is a device out there that can knockdown the fire before we make entry.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-16-2009 at 09:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Let's see....

    Carbon Tetrachloride was going to replace water. Then it was CO2. Then it was dry chemical. Then it was rapid water. Then it was wet water. Then it was halon. Then it was halon substitute. Then it was compressed air foam. Now it's this gizmo.

    Been there. Done that.

    The simple fact of the matter is that water will never be replaced as a fire suppression agent. No agwnt out there is as inexpensive, is as plentiful, is as easy to apply, is as easy to clean up and is as universally accepted as water.

    And no one tell me that the insurance cos. are behind this thing. They are not.

    No takers for my question, huh? Do you guys swear some secret oath or something to keep the deal quiet or what?
    George, as far as your statement that water will never be replaced, its probably true for the forseeable future, but who the heck knows what 50 years from now will bring. I have never seen this other than on a couple demo videos, but it does seem to work in specific situations. I agree with LA that considering changes in the fire service in the last few years, down manning, fewer engine response numbers, that anything that will help lessen hazards for entry will be welcomed. I haven't seen anyone try to say this will be the replacement for all firefighting techniques, nor have I heard the company say it is the be all end all. Simply another tool that could help in certain situations. Seems pretty pricey though.

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    At $1,300 an unit I do not see many larger career departments running for these devices.

    A well staffed and properly geographically deployed fire department does not have a need for these units. We catch a majority of our "structure fires" still in the room of origin. Most take less than 100 gallons of water to extinguish. Anything larger than that the Fit-5 will not make a difference.

    Nice idea but I see this used more as a replacement for the old civilian hose reels in high-rises. Have the civilian toss the device to protect their escape.

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    Lex:

    I don't disagree about the price, however, I can still see the value in a career FD. We operated out of 11 houses and I would consider ourselves strategically placed. In many cases, our District Chief's (Battalions), Ambos, Inspectors, Ladder Companies (True Ladders), etc...................were already on the street and beat our first due engine company on scene.

    When assigned to the ambo, it was common for us to beat the first due pumping unit by 3-4+ minutes and give a size-up, 360 and hydrant locations. I also was assigned to a ladder company that featured no hose, no nozzles, no water, just tools and pump can. When the engine that was housed with us was out, it left us first-in on several occassions to manage until the first due engine arrived.

    I see the value in these situations along with covering college dorms, low income apartments, high rises, etc..........especially when the realistic time to deploy (during 360) one of these units is around 1-2 minutes vs. time to lead out, set up pump, jocky hose and find the fire.

    Again, I would like to stress I do not feel that this would be effective for all fires, but this is a great tool for the toolbox to make our jobs safer and easier.


    Stay safe,

    rfd599
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    At $1,300 an unit I do not see many larger career departments running for these devices.

    A well staffed and properly geographically deployed fire department does not have a need for these units. We catch a majority of our "structure fires" still in the room of origin. Most take less than 100 gallons of water to extinguish. Anything larger than that the Fit-5 will not make a difference.

    Nice idea but I see this used more as a replacement for the old civilian hose reels in high-rises. Have the civilian toss the device to protect their escape.
    They can't/don't/won't even use the extinguishers in the building that are mandated by code.. I cannot see a civilian using one of these.


    This "gizmo" still hasn't been tested by UL or Factory Mutual.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Post Yep............

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post


    This "gizmo" still hasn't been tested by UL or Factory Mutual.


    And therein lies the rub, as the saying goes. "UL" and/or "FM" labels are REQUIRED BY LAW on Fire Extinguishers in my State, and I think that is also the case in some others. And that fact will be a sticking point for some time to come...........


    I have no interest in this device, one way or the other. I certainly will not bash something I haven't tried, and I don't think I'll see one in this cash starved environment that I operate in, so I'll let it be. I would point out that anything with a price tag like that simply won't fly here, no matter how great it is, simply because Water is Free, and we've already invested Tens of Millions in Water Application Technology. The Bean Counters will simply stonewall anything like that. Is it right? Probably not, but it's not my decision either.
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    Here's one more application that might be interesting to see some data/test fires on. If this thing is so good at killing fire and abosorbing heat, can it stop/significantly delay a flashover? Perhaps this chemical concotion may have uses in cooling the overhead similar to the short bursts without the steam production.

    As I said, I see a strong future in developing extinquishing aids to improve upon water under specific situations. George is right, water will never go away. With that though, there are cases now, especially in data centers, where water and dry chem causes as much or more damage than the fire itself. Still - $1300 is way to much for a single use device to be adopted most places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFNG View Post
    Here's one more application that might be interesting to see some data/test fires on. If this thing is so good at killing fire and abosorbing heat, can it stop/significantly delay a flashover? Perhaps this chemical concotion may have uses in cooling the overhead similar to the short bursts without the steam production.

    As I said, I see a strong future in developing extinquishing aids to improve upon water under specific situations. George is right, water will never go away. With that though, there are cases now, especially in data centers, where water and dry chem causes as much or more damage than the fire itself. Still - $1300 is way to much for a single use device to be adopted most places.
    If what I understand about it is correct, it basicaaly is a dry chemical extinguisher although deployed differently. I can't see it being deployed in electronic rich environments.

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    Default What is it?

    I have seen several videos of these things and have read several Forum threads but no one has ever revealed what exactly what is in these things. Does any one actually know? I understand that the company may not want anyone copying their technology but, without knowing what we're we are talking about, we can't really evaluate what is going on behind a closed door.
    Kevin Sink
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    If what I understand about it is correct, it basicaaly is a dry chemical extinguisher although deployed differently. I can't see it being deployed in electronic rich environments.
    According to FIT, these are safe to use in the extinguishment of electrical fires, such as a phone company or other data type center. The chemicals are non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-oxygen depleting.

    E-mail me regarding the chemical makeup and I can provide, we have sent out MSDS sheets to a couple of departments that have requested it.

    In regards to the UL Question, there is no standard for a Fire Interuption Device, only Fire Extiguishers. This product is not a fire extiguisher, this is a Powered Aerosol Generating Device.

    The price tag is high or low depending how you perceive value, but as you know water can be very detrimental and in many cases causes more damage than the actual fire. I believe this is the reason that some insurance companies have paid for the reimbursement of the units. Also, the total cost of ownership is $86.33/yr if you spread it over the 15 year shelf life of the product.

    Just some more food for thought.

    Thanks again,

    rfd599
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd599 View Post
    ..... Also, the total cost of ownership is $86.33/yr if you spread it over the 15 year shelf life of the product.....
    This would be true if it was a re-usable item. Since its a one time use item, its cost is $1300 per use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd599 View Post
    In regards to the UL Question, there is no standard for a Fire Interuption Device, only Fire Extiguishers. This product is not a fire extiguisher, this is a Powered Aerosol Generating Device.
    Spoken like a true salesman. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...it might be a duck.

    We made 129 good structure fires last year. If we used a fit on each one our cost would have been...$167,000 to fight those fires. That is also assuming that the fit put the fire out.

    Our department is selling our old Scott 4.5 on a public auction site to raise money to buy toilet paper...you think they'll give us $170,000 more for these devices?

    Not likely. Neat idea. I still see it more of a private sector device versus fire department device.
    Last edited by lexfd5; 02-16-2009 at 06:20 PM.

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    And to apply that water, you must make entry into a structure that may or may nor be stable under hostile conditions which requires sufficient manpower, training and resources.
    We understand. You're a coward that teaches cowardice.

    I have no idea why you seem to have such a hard-on for this product.
    Then allow me to explain again. I am a student of fire science. I understand fire. I understand that this gizmo will cause fire fighters to die. That is my problem with this thingamajig.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 02-16-2009 at 06:29 PM.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    that anything that will help lessen hazards for entry will be welcomed.
    It does not do that, unless you consider standing on the lawn lessening the hazard.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I find it interesting that no one has bothered to address my questions about the press articles. I'll ask them again.

    What kind of financial arrangement doe the FD's who purchase this gadget have with the manufacturer that every time it is used, it is mentioned in a news story? Do they pay you directly? Do they give you a replacement gizmo? Be honest. What's the deal?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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